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Marketers transition from ‘why mobile’ to ‘what’ & ‘how’: MMA’s Dadwal

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) is organising its signature MMA Forum in Singapore on November 20, 2015 which focuses on ‘Acquiring, Reaching and Engaging the Right Consumers with Mobile’. As the Forum gears up, Digital Market Asia caught up with Rohit Dadwal, Managing Director for MMA in Asia Pacific about the concept behind the Forum this year.

“In the past, we have spoken about ‘why mobile’ and what is the reason that brands should look at mobile. We have been trying to evangelise and justify the use of mobile as a marketing medium. But now the industry has evolved and understood the importance of mobile and there is a demand for learning ‘what on mobile’ and ‘how on mobile’. We have moved on from our previous themes as brands now need to understand how to acquire, reach out and engage with consumers on mobile. The discussion has moved to building capability to reach out to consumers on mobile and this has defined the theme, discussions and the topics that we have outlined for the MMA Singapore Forum this year,” Mr Dadwal explains.

The 2015 MMA Singapore Forum will focus on how brands can acquire and reach new customers and others, with the brimming options in the mobile toolbox including programmatic, location, video and more. Every segment exhibits differences in their digital behaviour that marketers must be aware of, and the Singapore Forum will focus on all this in the one-day conference.

Mr Dadwal highlights that there are two key trends that stand out in mobile this year. One is the proliferation of smartphones and the consumption by the consumers. “There is a lot more demand of content that has been generated for the smartphone – content be it on web or apps. This is also complementing what is happening on digital and on TV,” he says.

The second is the technology innovation around the sectors that has now started to act and has a very dominant play when the consumers are engaging with the content. “This means that the more content that is created and the enhancement of technology innovation on top of it provides a very good opportunity for consumers to engage in a meaningful manner with any advertising or marketing that happens,” Mr Dadwal adds.

MMA had hosted four forums in the region this year – one in each China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. Speaking about the key learnings from these forums, Mr Dadwal observes, “In China, innovation was the key focus – in terms of technology innovation that is driving the marketplace. We will expect a lot more innovations from China as it is a closed market, it has its own guidelines, its own apps – so there is a demand for local innovation.”

On the other hand, in India, the focus was the advertising industry starting to look at mobile being a prominent play right now. “While mobile’s share is small at the moment, we believe that in the next three years, it will catch up very quickly with digital ad spends and also traditional media. Another trend we noticed was that mobile is starting to play a dominant role in the rural market, more dominant than urban sometimes. This trend was spotted last year, but it has come very strongly this year,” he says.

Mr Dadwal is of the opinion that Indonesia is a mix of the two markets of China and India. “There are a lot of innovations in local content in Indonesia because of the local language.” The Vietnam market, on the other hand, was about focus on video which was growing as a medium of consumption, along with mobile payments.

The Singapore Forum will have sessions and panel discussions with speakers such as Dan Neary, Vice President of Asia Pacific, Facebook; Joanna Flint, Country Director, Google Singapore; Rahul Welde, Vice President – Media, Unilever; Herwinto Chandra Sutantyo, Digital Business Innovation Advisor, XL Axiata; Edward Pank, Managing Director, Warc Asia Pacific; Jayesh Easwaramony, VP & GM, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, InMobi; Nitin Mathur, Senior Director Marketing, Yahoo Asia Pacific; Vikas Gulati, Managing Director, Asia, Opera Mediaworks; Vishnu Mohan, Chief Executive Officer, Havas Media Group Asia Pacific and Ashutosh Srivastava, Chairman & CEO, Global Emerging Markets, Mindshare among others.

MMA has also conducted a survey, along with Warc, asking the marketing community how it is currently using mobile as a channel and where and how it sees mobile evolving in the future.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.
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